Fraught with fraud: Ohio’s unemployment system

Fraught with fraud: Ohio’s unemployment system

COLUMBUS, Ohio (FOX19) -The Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services confirmed to FOX19 NOW Investigates a spike in the number of traditional unemployment claims filed last week is suspected to be the result of fraudulent activity.

The office said there were 140,444 new claims filed for the week ending Feb. 6, which is a 194% increase from the prior week.

So far the office says it has flagged 44,000 of those claims as suspicious and said even more are anticipated to be fraudulent. This is the *traditional* unemployment program. The office says it is taking steps to implement “more robust identity verification in the traditional unemployment program.”

This is a separate program from the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program, which the state of Ohio administers for the federal government.

FOX19 Now Investigates revealed ODJFS paid out more than $331 million to fraudulent claims in that program in 2020.

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